I'm talking about the little brown and white heifer on the left, she looks like a perfectly nice baby cow to me, but thats not what her mother thought.
She was abandonned at birth!!!!!, as soon as she finished calving the new mother moved as far away from her baby as the shed permitted, and even after the calf staggered to its feet and went looking for comfort and the milk bar, the mum was having nothing to do with her.
Needless to say this is not the usual way of things, more often the new mums spend so much time licking the new arrival that it never gets a chance to sleep or feed. We only leave the calves with their mums for 24 hours, which seems cruel but the cows have far too much milk for one calf and dont let it down in the parlour if they still have the calf, leading to mastitis for the mum and the trots for the calf.
Also the longer you leave the calf with its mum the more attached they get and the more misery when you separate them. We dont breed for good parenting in dairy cows but we dont often get a calf quite as abandonned, anyway happily for "ET" (named by the children) social services (us) have saved her from a short life of neglect and she has a comfy pen with lots of straw, a friend to play with and a "magic mummy" to feed her lots of milk.
She is getting her own mums milk, we do a quick delivery after milking time while it's still warm.
On saturday we moved the lambs onto a new field, we needed to redeploy some of the same electric fencing so in the meantime they went in the farm yard....... and the garden.
They have done a lovely job on the grass, its been too wet to mow, and I moved my precious agaves in their pots to safety on top of the table.